“Ranger Manoso. He’s like the statue of David by Michelangelo, if you dipped him in caramel and strapped some heat on him.”
Katherine Heigl’s career is going no where at this point, and with the release of her latest movie One for the Money, that statement has hit home. Heigl had a positive start with a rom-com I actually liked, 27 Dresses. However, lately she’s been playing the same character over and over again – the annoying woman who spends the whole film screaming and acting like a complete lunatic. Directed by Julie Anne Robinson, One for the Money is based on the popular novel of the same name by Janet Evanovich. Having never read the book, I had no idea what this film would be about. Obviously anything featuring Heigl these days is a chick flick, but the inclusion of action, crime, and other elements from different genres makes One for the Money a confused experience. As a comedy, which it tries to be for the most part, it’s an utter miss. With so many funnier and better films out there, One for the Money is simply a waste of your time.
Jersey girl Stephanie Plum (Katherine Heigl), after losing her job, is broke. Needing a job she is told that her cousin Vinnie (Patrick Fischler), a bail bondsman, needs someone to help out in the office. But all he has are skip tracers. She learns that Joe Morelli (Jason O’Mara), a cop she knew intimately years ago, is one of them. To prepare for the job, bounty hunter Ranger (Daniel Sunjata) tries to teach her, giving her a gun and showing her the tricks. After many encounters with Morelli, Stephanie starts to suspect that he may be innocent of the crimes he’s been accused of.
Written by Stacy Sherman, Karen Ray, and Liz Brixius, the screenplay is simply generic and unfunny. Even fans of the original book have complained about the film’s treatment of it. The main issue is there’s no reason to care about any of the characters or what they’re trying to achieve. Stephanie isn’t particularly unlikeable, but she’s not interesting in any way. The way her search for Morelli unfolds is so predictable – the film tries way too hard to be a crime mystery, and although it is in the book, there’s no reason to care about what happens while watching the film. Morelli does give the film somewhat enjoyable banter between him and Stephanie, and Ranger is a fun character. In all honesty, the male characters definitely bring some sense of joy to this chick flick. There is a moment in the film where Stephanie develops a friendship with a pair of hookers, and when one of them is injured by a criminal Stephanie is tracking down, there’s supposed to be a big emotional response in the audience. Problem is we haven’t spent enough time with these characters to really care what happens to them. Like I said earlier, the film doesn’t try in any way to give you something to care about, making it real chore to get through the whole film.
Katherine Heigl may be amazing eye candy, but she brings nothing interesting to the role. For the most part, she acts like a lunatic. Still, Heigl is competent enough to the point where she doesn’t truly get on your nerves. The same goes for the rest of the cast. Jason O’Mara is decent as the token love interest, and there’s fun banter between him and Heigl. The two share a certain amount of chemistry, but it still doesn’t add a lot to the experience of the film. I really liked Daniel Sunjata as Ranger, giving a cool and badass performance. Yes, you could say he was wooden, but I thought it suited the role well.
When One for the Money moves into territories outside the rom-com genre, it becomes a complete mess. The mini action beats are decently put together, but the comic music played over them give the sequences no sense of tension. There’s really nothing left more me to say. This review may very well be my shortest ever, and for good reason. One for the Money has nothing to discuss about. It’s not obnoxious in any way, but there’s nothing I can recommend about it. I guess if you are a fan of Katherine Heigl, then it could be fun movie to watch, but for anyone else, it’s a waste of time. There are better rom-coms out there – try Crazy, Stupid, Love. or (500) Days of Summer.